[Latingp] AE, OE, and Ligatures

Tan Tanaka, Dennis dtantanaka at verisign.com
Tue Feb 12 13:45:54 UTC 2019

On the contrary. Let me explain:

  1.  Our “visual” methodology consists in a 4-point scale that assigns a value to the visual similarity of a pair. Each pair of characters is rendered in three different font types. We agreed on Arial, Times and Courier to do such comparison. Each pair is then score independently (e.g. 1 = Identical; 2 = Nearly identical; 3 = Distinguishable; 4 = Different).
  2.  Our “non-visual” methodology is looking for to prove or disprove the notion that certain handwriting customs are transferred to font design. For this analysis we picked the website wordmark.it to analyze a large number of font types.

The argument about visual similarity of the ligatures “æ” and “œ” is logically under the “visual” methodology. So, if anything, I’m advocating for us to stick with our methodology and not to apply ad-hoc criteria on a case by case basis.


From: Bill Jouris <bill.jouris at insidethestack.com>
Reply-To: Bill Jouris <bill.jouris at insidethestack.com>
Date: Monday, February 11, 2019 at 4:09 PM
To: Dennis Tan Tanaka <dtantanaka at verisign.com>, "latingp at icann.org" <latingp at icann.org>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [Latingp] AE, OE, and Ligatures

And yet, in our previous work, we considered high visual similarity in a significant number of fonts in workmark to be sufficient cause to consider something a variant.

So are you arguing for changing our criteria?

Bill Jouris
Inside Products
bill.jouris at insidethestack.com
925-855-9512 (direct)

From: "Tan Tanaka, Dennis via Latingp" <latingp at icann.org>
To: "Michael.Bauland at knipp.de" <Michael.Bauland at knipp.de>; "latingp at icann.org" <latingp at icann.org>
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2019 12:54 PM
Subject: Re: [Latingp] AE, OE, and Ligatures

Looking again at the visual evidence, I believe this is not a strong case for variants. But it may be a candidate for visual similarity.

From a visual standpoint I don’t see it as a clear-cut case. Doing a comparison of the code points "æ" "œ" using wordmark.it, the great majority of fonts show them very distinguishable (e.g. Arial: æ œ, Times: æ œ, Courier: æ œ, Calibri: æ œ).

From an orthography viewpoint, I don’t see good support, but of course, this is only one<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_orthography#Ligatures> data point.


On 2/11/19, 9:16 AM, "Latingp on behalf of Michael Bauland" <latingp-bounces at icann.org on behalf of Michael.Bauland at knipp.de> wrote:

    Hi Bill,

    thanks for the summary.

    I agree with you if purely looking at the visual confusability issue.
    However, with ae vs. æ and oe vs. œ the issue is not about visual
    sameness, at least that's what the IP argued on our phone call. They
    said that in most languages ae and æ have the same meaning and could be
    exchanged. I can only talk for German, and there it might be ok to write
    ae instead of the ligature but certainly not the other way round. But to
    be honest, I personally never used such a word in German.

    Therefore the reason to make ae and its ligature variants would be
    purely semantic. And then we have a problem: how to decide which variant
    relation is stronger? If all are visual, it's (more or less) easy to
    decide which visual similarity is stronger, but there's no metric to
    compare visual and semantic similarities with each other.



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